Most children find it difficult to fulfill their obligations, especially when it comes to tasks that they do not like like making the bed or cleaning their room. In these cases, laziness takes over them and sometimes you have to insist a lot so that they fulfill their obligations. However, this scenario so common in many homes could have a definitive solution if parents resort to the rule of the minute, inspired by the Kaizen method, whose origin is Japanese.
What is the Kaizen method?
This method, created by Masaaki Imai, is inspired by the Japanese word Kaizen, which derives from the conjugation of two words, “kai”, which means change or action to amend, and “zen”, which translates as good, beneficial or wisdom. Have you made a mistake with your children? ASK THEM FORGIVENESS.
This method, which can also be understood as a philosophy, focuses on the idea that the driving force of all achievement, whether small or large, is persistence, perseverance and effort, qualities that can be developed through the establishment of a system of healthy habits. According to its foundations, the only way to achieve personal goals is to fight laziness and get down to work, since only taking small steps will reach the end of the road. In fact, its fundamental principle can be summed up in one sentence: “Today better than yesterday, tomorrow better than today”.
If we apply the Kaizen philosophy to early childhood education, we obtain what is known as the “rule of the minute”. Basically, it consists of executing a certain activity every day at the same time, but only for one minute. At first, 60 seconds may seem like a very short time, but the truth is that it is the minimum time needed to start establishing a habit without laziness taking over, especially when it comes to children. In fact, by repeating the same activity for a minute every day, the little ones will get used to it and after a few weeks they will already be part of their daily routine.
Why is the minute rule so effective in combating childhood laziness?
The key to the effectiveness of this technique based on the Japanese Kaizen method lies in gradualness and continuity. When children have to spend too much time on tasks they don’t like, they become more tedious and unbearable. However, if they know that they only have to spend a minute on them, they will be less reticent since, after all, it is very little time.
In this way, little by little, they will adapt to doing those things that they ‘hated’ so much. Also, if you praise them for the results every time they complete the task, they will surely feel good about themselves, which will add an additional dose of motivation.
Once the little ones feel motivated and have made this task a habit, you can increase the time they spend on it, first 2 minutes, then 3 and so on until they can complete the activity.
When to apply the Kaizen method at home?
The Japanese Kaizen method can be applied in all spheres of children’s lives and not only for the establishment of routines. In fact, it can be applied in the academic field, to motivate children to make an effort and achieve better grades, or to promote healthier habits such as physical exercise or the habit of reading. The idea is that children understand that the most important thing is to advance a little each day, even if it is small steps and the results are not perfect because only in perseverance does progress germinate.